Breakfast unites Knox County farmers, business leaders

Keynote speaker, panel discussion spark agriculture conversations, questions among Farm Bureau members.

Jonathan Coppess, University of Illinois Gardner Agriculture Policy Program director, speaks to more than 100 attendees of the Agriculture & Business Breakfast. Knox County Farm Bureau and the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the event. (Photo by Hailey Weyhrich)

By Hailey Weyhrich

More than 100 area business leaders and Farm Bureau members joined together for an Agriculture & Business Breakfast at Lake Storey Pavilion in Galesburg during Ag Week.

Hosted by Knox County Farm Bureau and the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the event featured breakfast catered by Henn House BBQ. The meal included local ag commodities, such as pork donated by the Knox County Pork Producers, and orange juice and milk from Prairie Farms Dairy.

The first 75 registrants purchased tickets for the event at $2.22, the farmers share of the price. The amount represents 14.8 percent of the meal cost.

Jonathan Coppess, University of Illinois Gardner Agriculture Policy Program director, spoke to the crowd about food policy and how it effects the local economy. He also moderated a panel of local businessmen and women.

Panelists included Grant Strom of Strom Farms and Knox County Farm Bureau president; Becky King, First Midwest Bank agriculture director; Matthew Hansen, owner of Knox County Brewing Company; and Ken Springer, Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development president. The audience submitted questions for the panelists using a mobile device.

The event was made possible through a Consumer Engagement Grant from Illinois Farm Bureau and sponsorships from F & M Bank, First Midwest Bank, Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg Community Foundation and Swanson Seeds.

Hailey Weyhrich serves as Knox County Farm Bureau manager. 

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